No number for Tebow yet, but you can buy his jersey

There was little doubt that the Patriots were signing Tim Tebow on Monday night, but the team waited until Tuesday morning to make things official.

They were less willing to play the waiting game when it came to selling jerseys with Tebow’s name on the back. The Patriots website is already offering four different Tebow jerseys for sale to men, women and children.

For now, the jerseys feature only Tebow’s name because he hasn’t been issued a jersey number. As we mentioned on Monday, Tebow’s familiar No. 15 is already claimed by backup quarterback Ryan Mallett, so we’ll have to wait to find out if Tebow swings a deal with Mallett or picks a new number. Any jerseys purchased won’t be shipped until that happens and the league approves the number, but the Pats are still getting the word out right away that the jerseys are up for sale.

Darren Rovell of ESPN shares an email sent to those on the Patriots’ mailing list shortly after the signing was announced on Tuesday that makes recipients aware that the Tebow jerseys are available for purchase immediately. Given the passion that Tebow fans have exhibited since he entered the league, it will likely turn out to be a smart business move for the Patriots even though the structure of his contract makes it anything but guaranteed that Tebow will wind up on the roster for the 2013 season.

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